Religious Liberty after Obergefell: Why Congress Must Act Now to Pass the First Amendment Defense Act
July 16, 2015 12:45 ET

During April's oral arguments for the now infamous Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case, the Solicitor General tipped the government's hand and removed any doubt about the threat which is now posed to the First Amendment's guarantee of religious liberty. Just days before the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to redefine marriage in all 50 states, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID) introduced legislation to clarify and strengthen religious liberty protections in federal law, by safeguarding those individuals and institutions who promote traditional marriage from government retaliation. The First Amendment Defense Act (S. 1598, H.R. 2802) would prevent any federal agency from denying a tax exemption, grant, contract, license, or certification to an individual, association, or business based on their belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.

"There's a reason the right to religious liberty appears first in our nation's Bill of Rights," said Senator Lee. "The freedom to live and to act in accordance with the dictates of one's conscience and religious convictions is integral to human flourishing...The vast majority of Americans today still hold a robust view of religious liberty, yet across the country the right of conscience is threatened by state and local governments that coerce, intimidate, and penalize individuals, associations, and businesses who believe that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. The First Amendment Defense Act is necessary to ensure that this kind of government excess never occurs at the federal level."

Join FRC and Senator Mike Lee as he speaks about this important legislative effort to strengthen and defend our first freedom.

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) has spent his career defending the basic liberties of Americans and Utahns by tirelessly advocating for our founding constitutional principles. He acquired a deep respect for the Constitution early on as his father, who served as the Solicitor General under President Ronald Reagan, would often discuss varied aspects of judicial and constitutional doctrine around the kitchen table. Senator Lee attended Brigham Young University, where he earned his BS in Political Science and later, his JD. He went on to serve as a Supreme Court clerk to Justice Samuel Alito.

Throughout his career, Senator Lee has earned a reputation as an outstanding practitioner of the law based on his sound judgment, abilities in the courtroom, and thorough understanding of the Constitution. Today, he fights to preserve America's proud founding document in the United States Senate by advocating for efforts to support constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, individual liberty, and economic prosperity.

Earlier this year, Senator Lee authored a book entitled, "Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America's Founding Document."

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